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On March 8th, 2020, we were on top of the world. We had just won the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Waterbury competition. It celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team's school or organization and community. Then a short 5 days later, the entire world changed! But FIRST is not just about robots; it is about bringing the excitement of STEM to the community. In normal times, Farmington High School Robotics team strives to bring more hands-on STEAM activities to our community designed for young people of all ages. We think you will agree that we have not let COVID slow us down. Please consider supporting us with a donation!
Our Team's Work Pre-COVID
- During the months of November, December and January, we have been a key part in mentoring elementary robotics teams across Farmington and Burlington. We helped teams with their research and model building as they learned about important aspects of working as a team.
- Each year, we celebrate our passion for Computer Science by running a series of events called “Hour of Code” to inspire the younger generation to try some coding. We had participants from elementary schools all up to high school students. Last year, we had 736 students joining us around the district.
- We have hosted a middle school robotics qualifying event with 500 people from 21 teams across Connecticut. Teams competed with their robots and presented their own solution to a relevant problem that we judged and reviewed.
- Each January, we host the largest FIRST expo in CT. We had over 30 elementary teams and over 10 middle school teams that participated in this event with 6 high school teams that helped us run the entire event. We reached nearly 1000 people at this single event alone.
Our Team's Work During COVID
- During February and March of 2021, we continued our mentoring experience with younger elementary robotics teams in a virtual setting. We modified the curriculum to be run virtually so we can still leave our impact on the younger generation.
- During the first 12 days of February 2021, we sent out fun DIY activities for younger kids to do in their own houses each day. Knowing that we couldn’t do anything in person, we still strive to bring our fun and engaging activities to the community.
- We continued our yearly tradition of running our Hour of Code events during December of 2020, but pivoted it into a virtual setting. We engaged with our entire high school as well as the middle school as we continued celebrating our passion for computer science.
Team's Financial Needs
- The team needs $7000-$10000 every year in order to accomplish our goals of designing and building a competition worthy robot and innovating outreach projects to engage the community.
- It costs about $10,000 to compete in 2 local events each year and the New England championship.
- It costs an additional $25,000 to travel out of state to world championships when we qualify for them.
Benefits to Students and Mentors
The FHS Robotics Team has been called an exemplar by school administration. In most years over 80% of our graduating seniors go to pursue STEM fields in college and the workplace. Our Alumni consistently cite their time on the Farmington team and in FIRST as an experience that positively impacted their life and sparked future pursuits. Students get to see how professionals do things and professionals get to experience the energy and curiosity the young learners can bring to a task as well as the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference in the career choices of the students.
On our team, we pride ourselves on the culture we have where students take on meaningful leadership roles in both engineering and outreach projects. We are proud that the Farmington team is "mentor-nurtured but student-driven." Your support will enable us to continue to compete, give back to the community, and develop young students into STEM leaders.